Track maintenance puts brakes on French trains

18th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Oct 17 (AFP) - French trains will have to slow down over some 1,500 kilometres (940 miles) of the national network because of problems financing track maintenance, the state-owned SNCF announced after a management seminar in London Sunday.

LONDON, Oct 17 (AFP) - French trains will have to slow down over some 1,500 kilometres (940 miles) of the national network because of problems financing track maintenance, the state-owned SNCF announced after a management seminar in London Sunday.

"As things stand speed-loss due to reduction in maintenance is in evidence on 800 kilometres of track. In our 2005 budget, this will probably hit 1,500 kilometres," said Jacques Couvert, the company's operations director.

Because maintenance and renovation funds are directed as a priority to the most profitable lines, the sections affected by the slow-down will be mainly those used by TER regional trains, SNCF said.

Meanwhile the company announced it may increase the speed of TGV fast trains using a future line linking Paris and Strasbourg to 350 kilometres per hour from the current 320 kph maximum.

Work on the 300 kilometre route began in 2002 and is due to be completed in 2007. The first track is to be laid Tuesday.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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